My last few posts have centred around a focus on teams. Why they are growing in popularity, the value in joining one and, to that end, what red flags might mean that a team sucks.
Having covered some of the problems we see with teams that aren’t working at a high level, I thought it would be smart to switch our framing to a discussion on what makes teams great.
So to describe what makes a team great, first we need to define what a “great team” is.
My perspective is that a great team is a place where the members of the team thrive, both professionally and personally. In order for this to happen they need to have the tools, support, coaching and culture that gets them there.
When I dissect teams like these, there are 5 key structures in place which all of them provide at a high level.
1: Great teams have exceptional Administrative Support
One fundamental truth in real estate is that there are only a few key tasks which produce income. We often point back to 'the five jobs of the realtor' in coaching because it’s so easy to get sucked back into the other stuff which pulls at your attention.
The five jobs are:
Scripting and roleplaying
Lead follow up
Attending appointments and
EVERYTHING else is administrative.
The trick is that most agents only spend 10-20% of their time doing the 5 jobs and spend the rest of their time doing the administrative stuff like sorting out their tech issues, ordering materials like cards, signs or brochures or managing paperwork etc.
Powerful teams have systems in place to care for the majority of this, so the agents are focused almost exclusively on the five jobs which drive revenue.
2: Great teams have great Leads
Every team is different on this one but universally, providing some level of leads is expected of real estate teams. Where things vary is in the amount and quality of the leads provided.
More and more we are seeing larger teams providing only a small ratio of the business it’s agents write. Instead, they focus on providing the agents with the tools they need to generate leads of their own. Many of the most successful teams provide leads on only around 25% of the deals they are writing with the remainder being created through the agents use of their tools and marketing. One team I coach writes over 60% of their business by repeat and referral and it’s driven primarily by marketing, quarterly calls and invitations to events they host.
One other factor is lead quality. This breaks down into 2 main considerations: How loyal the lead is to your brand, and how close they are to an appointment/sale. As lead quality goes up, typically team splits follow it.
I would personally be quite happy to work on a split of only 25-30% if all my appointments were set for me and I just needed to show up and win the contract… The amount of work which goes into creating an appointment should not be underestimated.
#3: Great teams provide outstanding personal development
One of the most significant reasons people join teams is to be close to the leadership of the team. In real estate, close to 80% of people don’t make it past a few years. And those who survive average an amount of income far lower than what would allow for a comfortable lifestyle.
Being shown how to succeed is compelling. Beyond the success it takes to survive the first few years and produce at a decent level, teams need more if they are going to keep their agents engaged over the long run. Finding ways to create long term growth and developing people on a higher level than just sales is where truly great teams separate themselves from the pack.
Personal development isn’t exclusive to business success. Frankly, finding ways for your group to develop together outside of business is going to create better long term retention.
How can you help them create a better personal lifestyle?
How can you support them in creating better leverage for themselves?
How could you help them invest more and have passive income outside of their work with you?
How can you help them have better relationships inside and outside of work?
Showing them the business is important, but it’s not the whole picture. Developing them into business people is what paves the way for them to take advantage of what comes next.
#4: Great real estate teams have the opportunity for Career Advancement
The best people don’t want to do the same thing year after year. Wanting to progress is what made them great in the first place!
Great teams have worked out ways that they can provide opportunity for advancement within their organization as people grow. Combine this with some creativity and it can solve a lot of the challenges which pop up as your organization grows.
Think of it like this: As your organization grows, your time will be more and more strained as a leader. Decision making is nowhere near as time consuming as the repetitive leadership tasks like running the team meetings, training the newbies and holding everyone accountable to their commitments. The same places you are strained for support are the same ones your top people can advance towards as they grow.
#5: Great teams give their agents the opportunity to be part of Something Bigger
Real estate is a lonely game. Between constant rejection and the repetitive tasks you need to commit to if you want to be successful, the low moments can wear you down. The weird thing is that the high moments are lonely too. If you close a big deal the commission can easily be $50-100K, and who are you able to celebrate that with? Definitely not your friend who works full time for $65K a year.
Great teams are more than just a group of people who get together and work Monday to Friday. They are centered around a culture of support, friendships, personal challenge and growth. Together they celebrate the high times and support each other in the hard moments. Through all of it they also achieve some amazing feats in business and this gives their members something to be truly proud to be part of.
Culture is so often overlooked on teams and it’s one of the biggest differentiators between moderate success and outstanding greatness. Don’t skip the sauce when you’re about to eat, it’s what ties everything in the dish together!
No single team has all of these perfect, and teams definitely never started out with all five producing at a high level… What great teams DO have perfect is the ability to be aware of what they have that is working and where they can improve. So start early and tweak often. The goal is always and never-ending improvement, eventually your business will be a place people can’t imagine living without.
As always, thanks for your time.